Students discover what $200,000 does for childhood cancer by visiting St. Jude hospital

Stripes for Hope group 2016

HAYS, Kan. -- Members of Stripes for Hope at Fort Hays State University spent their spring break at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis to see exactly what the $200,000 raised by the organization since 2007 does for childhood cancer.

The FHSU volunteers engaged the cancer patients with crafts in the hospital, Tri Delta House and Target House. The Tri Delta House is a short-term stay facility on the hospital's campus for patients and family, and the Target House is a longer-term stay facility located off campus.

"The activities were paper plate crafts, and participants were able to make paper plates into animals -- frogs, dogs, cats, et cetera," said Korby Boswell, graduate student sponsor for Stripes for Hope. "These activities gave the kids a stress-free environment to be kids and also gave parents the opportunity to relax, call family members and catch up on other daily tasks."

Volunteers also received a tour of the hospital, but working closely with the children was the most rewarding part of the experience.

"I would say my favorite part about the trip was seeing the joy in the kids' faces when they were making the plate animals. They go through some very tough times, and it was amazing to see how strong and happy the kids really are," said Clay Kear, Colwich senior majoring in mathematics.

"It was an amazing experience getting to interact with the kids and their families," said Brianna Wooldridge, Hays senior majoring in mathematics. "I enjoyed hearing how much we meant to the parents and how thankful they were for us volunteering. It was awesome to see how happy just a little craft made some of them."

"St. Jude was an incredible, humbling experience. My favorite part of the trip had to be getting to do crafts with the kids. Helping to put a smile on their faces was priceless," said Marcella McCluskey, Great Bend graduate student earning a Master of Science in communication.

Stripes for Hope has one mission -- to raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"We think it's very important for our members to see where the money we raise goes. We work extremely hard throughout the entire school year, and it's rewarding to be able to visit the place we raise funds and awareness for," said Boswell.

What does the $200,000 buy? It can buy 20 CT scans, 40 days in the ICU, 140 rounds of chemo, 650 chest x-rays, 400 hours of physical therapy or 800 red blood cell transfusions.

Boswell and Jami Carlson, FHSU admissions counselor, served as trip advisors. Students who volunteered at the hospital are:
Jordanna Beikman, Washington sophomore majoring in nursing.
Jessica Bryant, Eudora freshman majoring in foreign language.
Dalyn Chapman, McPherson freshman majoring in nursing.
Hannah Heinz, Fowler sophomore majoring in biology.
Abby Hughes, McPherson freshman majoring in health and human performance.
Kear, Colwich senior majoring in mathematics.
McCluskey, Great Bend graduate earning a Master of Science in communication.
Arrica Overmiller, Beloit sophomore majoring radiologic technology.
Emilie Pearson, Wakefield freshman majoring in nursing.
Wooldridge, Hays senior majoring in mathematics.

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